Interview with CEO and Co-owner of Peak Models & Talent, Natasha Duswalt
Natasha Duswalt is co-owner and CEO of Peak Models & Talent.
As a former model, she has experience with both sides of the industry. In this in-depth interview Natasha speaks directly to aspiring models about being a model and what to expect from your agency.
[Maddy] What made you start your own agency?
[Natasha] Back in 1997 I was working full time as a model in the fashion industry fitting for many major labels including Speedo, ABS Clothing, Anne Cole Swimwear, Victoria’s Bridal, BCBG, Catalina swim and several other clients. I realized that there was so much work and that I was not going to be right for everything. I felt limited because there was only so much I could do in a day. I realized that if I could find models with my drive and work ethic that there was no limit on how much work I could book. The only difference was that I would not be the one physically doing the jobs. I also realized that many women in the modeling business especially the younger girls were being taken advantage of by people that were only interested in their own agenda. I wanted to create an agency that actually cared about the models represented.
[Maddy] Tell me about Peak Models and the types of models you represent.
[Natasha] Peak Models & Talent started out as the top fit model agency in LA. We have since expanded into print, catalogs, runway, commercial print, editorial, showroom, tradeshows, swimwear, lingerie, commercials and television. With all of our models we are very careful to make sure that each model can offer clients a range of abilities to cover their needs. For example, our fit models often take on additional tasks such as traveling with the sales force to tradeshows since they know the line better than any other model. Our print models will often work on the runway or in the showroom during fashion week. The models at Peak Models & Talent represent all ethnicities and ages bringing diversity to our clients.
[Maddy] I noticed that you do not separate the plus model on your site from the rest of the models which is nice to see, what made you decide to do this?
[Natasha] As a prior model, I am very aware of how much focus is put on the look of a person. I’m also aware that people are people and we all come in every shape, size and color.
I think that when a client is searching for a model, they should just look at the images and see who suits their vision. There has been such a long standing stigma that you need to be skinny to model, and that is just not true! Peak Models & Talent has found a great deal of success in getting jobs for models that are more realistic .Peak Models & Talent represents a healthy image, models that we aspire to, models that we can relate to. Let’s face it, as women we buy clothing and products pictured on women we identify with, people we can imagine as our friend. I feel that plus models are models like all the others, and so I really never thought I should single anyone out.